Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Education, Southeast
The following report from One People’s Project details how neo-Nazi leader Matthew Heimbach is attempting to worm his way into a public university to give a speech entitled, “National Socialist or Death.” National Socialism was the official ideology of the Nazi party in Germany. For more information on Matthew Heimbach, see our expose on him from 2015 here.
Matthew Heimbach has been making the most of his move to Tennessee over the past year. Now he thinks he’s going to do this. Let us see about that…
What do you do if you’re a pseudo-intellectual Nazi with no friends and no one invites you to share your racist, sexist ideology?
You create a “lecture series,” invite yourself and then pretend like a charity organization is hosting you. You reserve your venue under the name of a local church, who has no idea who you are or what you’re doing, because no one wants to host your white supremacist propaganda.
This appears to be what Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Worker Party has done for his upcoming “lecture series” at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Heimbach’s appearance at UTK began being promoted on white supremacist websites such as Stormfront this week.
“TWP Chairman Matthew Heimbach was invited to speak at University of Tennessee by the charity organization WALNUT on: Problems in Appalachia, From Opioid Addiction to Poverty, on Feb. 17th 1PM-4PM,” the post on Stormfront states.
The thing is, WALNUT is the Traditionalist Worker Party is Matthew Heimbach.
No one invited him.
He invited himself.
On Heimbach’s own blog, Tradworker, in a response to a recent Yahoo article titled The neo-Nazi has no clothes: In search of Matt Heimbach’s bogus ‘white ethnostate,’ in which the writer questions whether the programs of the Traditionalist Worker Party even exist, WALNUT (White Advocacy Leadership, Networking & Unity Teams) is described as an “initiative” of the Traditionalist Worker Party to provide social support services to white people.
However, there are serious questions raised in the Yahoo article as to whether the initiative does anything.
According to the UTK student newspaper The Daily Beacon, “no charity or business entity named WALNUT is currently registered with the Tennessee state government. If the group is indeed a charitable organization and is soliciting funds, not registering their charity is a violation of state policy, and the group could face legal or financial penalties.”
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Vice Chancellor of Communications Ryan Robinson at UTK says someone called to reserve space at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, claiming to be from a local church. The person then called back and changed the name. The newspaper says the name of the contact person wasn’t available, but says Robinson said it was from someone out-of-state with a “ties to a racial separatist group.”
“Since then, we have learned that the church did not reserve the space, was entirely unaware of the event and has no affiliation with the person who made the request,” the Knoxville News Sentinel quotes Robinson as writing in an email. “We had serious concerns that this group misrepresented the nature of the event and their affiliations. To our knowledge, no one at the University of Tennessee invited this group to campus.”
Knoxville and the University of Tennessee in particular have been frequent targets of Heimbach, who is from Indiana. His efforts to rally in Tennessee, however, have been largely unsuccessful with his Traditionalist Worker Party members outnumbered of much as 700-to-1 in the Volunteer State.
Part of a “White Lives Matter” rally in Murfreesboro in October, neither Heimbach nor other white supremacists even showed, following a failed rally in which they were severely outnumbered earlier that morning in Shelbyville, Tenn. However, later that day, Heimbach and a small group of Traditionalist Worker Party members were part of an assault on an interracial couple in a Brentwood, Tenn. restaurant.
Most recently, he attempted to disrupt the Women’s March in Knoxville, which was attended by more than 14,000 women and fewer than 20 neo-Nazis.
The Traditionalist Worker Party has also put white supremacist propaganda fliers out in downtown Knoxville, and painted messages such as “White Pride” and “MLK was a commie and a pervert” on the University of Tennessee campus’ Rock, according to the Daily Beacon.
Heimbach does have a further history of violence.
He pleaded guilty to charges of attacking a black woman during a Trump rally in Louisville, Ky. in 2016.
Community and student organizations, as well as antifa groups, are making plans to protest the “lecture series” at UTK. One Facebook event is already up.
That event is being organized by Knoxville attorney Chris Irwin.
Irwin said, “Non-confrontation of neo-nazis is a proven failed tactic. It’s failed everywhere and whenever it’s been tried. However heckling and mocking the crap out of them has proven very effective. In the marketplace of ideas, they are unarmed.”